Come Together  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   December 2000

Come Together   

John F. Oppedahl leaves the Arizona Republic to become publisher and chief executive of the new San Francisco Chronicle.

By Lori Robertson
Lori Robertson (robertson.lori@gmail.com), a former AJR managing editor, is a senior contributing writer for the magazine.      



Less than a week before the San Francisco Examiner 's staff crossed the great divide to become part of the Chronicle , owner Hearst Corp. appointed John F. Oppedahl as the Chron's publisher and chief executive. Oppedahl, who grew up in San Francisco and worked on the student paper at Berkeley in the mid-1960s, resigned in October as publisher of the Arizona Republic . "Combining the talents of two newsrooms that have long been fierce rivals is a tricky business, and building a new paper will be something of an evolutionary process," Oppedahl wrote in the new Chronicle's November 22 debut edition. The new Fang -family-owned Examiner becomes a morning paper, but the city will still have a p.m. edition: The Chronicle has started one targeted at commuters. Chronicle Executive Editor Phil Bronstein says there is clearly a market for an afternoon paper in the Bay Area. The 20,000-circulation edition, produced by its own staff of 15 to 20 employees, will be an updated version of the morning paper.... A retired federal judge said the former Examiner did not compromise its news coverage or editorials on behalf of Hearst's business interests. The judge's report ends a six-month investigation begun after the paper's former publisher, Timothy White , testified in court that he had offered Mayor Willie Brown favorable editorial treatment if Brown supported Hearst's purchase of the Chronicle.

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